AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Heart Rate Functions
Fitness / Sport Features
Ease of Use
Where To Get It
A Deep Dive Into The Apple Watch Series 3
Not everybody is into very specific gadgets. If you’re interested in fitness but you also want a quality smartwatch, owning two separate gadgets for workouts and leisure doesn’t always make sense.
Apple has been trying to address such issues since the release of the Apple Watch Series 3.
This review focuses more on what makes this a solid choice for athletes or fitness enthusiasts than on what makes it the top smartwatch on the market.
We’re looking at how it performs outside, underwater, while you’re sleeping, or when you’re engaged in HIIT workouts at the gym.
The Apple Watch 3 was released in late 2017. Compared to its predecessor, it boasts a 70% improvement in processing power and LTE cellular connectivity which allows users to enjoy features such as Apple Music, voice communications, and much more.
Who Is It For?
The Series 3 is a good choice for athletes, Apple loyalists, and anyone that doesn’t want to pay extra for the currentSeries 4 model that comes with relatively minorimprovements.
- Built-in barometer
- Solid battery performance
- Improved processor
- Accurate sensors
- Good screen readability
- Not the easiest menus to figure out for newbies
- No insight into tracked data
- Tracking swimming activity may require aHR chest strap
If you’re a bit intimidated by owning a high-end smartwatch, don’t be. Apple understands this and ships every Watch 3 withdetailed ‘how to use’ guides. You also get a USB charger and an adapter. And, depending on thesize ordered, you may also receive an extra strap.
Overview of Features
The heart rate monitoring feature is perhaps the most important function for any athlete. The Apple Watch 3 takes it to a new level. It tracks your pulse while working out, walking, resting, and even in yoursleep.
One thing ofnote is that Apple doesn’t offer insight into those statistics. You have to use an app or rely on your experience to make sense of why your pulse is higher or lower during a certain activity.
GPS tracking is another nice perk. This justifies using the Apple Watch 3 as a running tracker. Not only do you get access to heart rate monitoring, but you can also track burnt calories and your runs. You do this by using the built-in Workouts app. Unfortunately, you can’t share your running data through Strava. This is not a deal-breaker, but it may be an inconvenience if you belong to a workout group.
With a 5ATM waterproof rating, the watch also handles itself well underwater. If you want to track swimming data, you can do it. But, to improve the accuracy of the results you might need to put on a swimming HR chest strap.
A unique feature is the connectivity to a wide range of compatible gym machines. You can use the Apple Watch 3 as your main sensor and track and watch the data while you’re performing HIIT routines. This is done by using the Health app.
Let’s talk battery for a moment. Many smartwatch manufacturers fall short when it comes to operational duration. The Apple Watch 3 doesn’tsuffer the same fate. The battery should last a full 24 hours if you run, swim, listen to music, check emails, take phone calls, and then go to bed with the HR monitor on.
Of course, you can improve the battery lifeif you refrain from using the features that you don’t need for your fitness tracking and if you turn off GPS tracking when you’re in the gym.
The Apple Watch 3 is still one of the best smartwatches on the market. That’s mainly because the Watch 4 doesn’t offer too many improvements.
But is it the best fitness tracker too? – Not exactly. But if you’re an iOS user then there’s no reason to bother going with a different brand.
If you’re not tied to the iOS ecosystem, there are certainly many alternatives you can consider that are better suited for athletic activities.
Just remember that if you’re looking for a fitness tracker and smartwatch combo, very few will come close in terms of performance, battery life, and accuracy.